December 2004

ALTERNATIVE POWER
 
 
 Generators:  are machines that convert fossil and nuclear fuel, or hydrogen gas, wind, and solar energy into electricity.  There are different generators which can be used for small temporary applications, or very large ones that can run many things including whole households and even other buildings.  They should be housed in a separate building that is well vented.  Not in the home. 

Diesel or Gasoline Generators    There are some differences between the two, in common comparison,  a diesel generator produces twice the power per gallon of fuel that a gas generator does.  and a diesel motor will last four times longer than a gasoline engine, though in purchasing, the gasoline engine is usually cheaper likely because of the above differences.

Solar Power:  Solar systems begin with the solar module. Modules gather solar energy in the form of sunlight and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. The more sunlight they receive, the more electricity they produce. Solar modules are the heart of the system. They are the power generators. There are special appliances that use DC current, otherwise you need an Inverter to change the DC current to AC (alternating current) to be able to run common household appliances.

Micro-Hydro Electric Power: There are a variety of small hydroelectric generators that are designed to be 12, 24, or 48 volt battery chargers, operating off a relatively small volume of water. They charge batteries 24 hours per day and the power can be drawn from the battery as needed. As little as 100 gallons per minute (GPM) falling 10 feet through a pipe or 5 gallons per minute falling 200 feet through a pipe can supply enough power to comfortably run a small household. In areas where there is a long rainy season, and there is a mountain stream that can be used, a small hydroelectric system can work well with solar modules, both charging the same battery. When it is rainy and the solar modules are putting out less power, the hydroelectric system will be at its peak.

Wind Power Turbine Generators:  A wind turbine works the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity.  Wind powered battery charging systems can be cost effective if the average wind speed is nine miles per hour (mph) or more at the location of the wind generator.


 
 
Other Alternatives and Storing Fuels

There are Outdoor wood furnaces, which are set outside, they can be hooked up to a house and several other buildings for an alternative heating source, they are also called wood boilers. There are many types of Wood stoves,  There are wood stoves, pellet stoves, gas wood stoves. If it is possible to have one, it is a good idea, especially one that has a flat surface on top or is ment to be used also as a cooking top. this will allow you both alternative heating plus a cooking source. note that pellet stoves use an auger to move the pellets, and many stoves use a fan to move the air around the room. A gas stove you must rely on your source and distributor. 

 To try to store enough batteries for flashlights and radios for a year, would require some expense, so it is a good idea to look into those that are self powering, like hand crank models. While these will reduce your Battery storage load, be aware that they usually require alittle muscle. You can find them at most survival stores, they are also available at Emergency Essentials.

Storing Kerosene  one of the easiest fuels to store, and is more versatile than most people think. It does not evaporate as readily as gasoline and will remain stable in storage with no special treatment.  diesels will run on kerosene if necessary. Kerosene stoves and refrigerators are also available and would definitely be preferable to LP models from the safety standpoint. 

Storing Diesel fuel   It stores almost as easily as kerosene and is becoming more popular among the self sufficient. It is difficult to ignite intentionally and almost impossible to ignite by accident. Two grades are available: #1 diesel which is old-fashioned yellow kerosene, and #2 diesel which is the same thing as #2 home heating oil, (You may see literature to the contrary, but #2 diesel is #2 heating oil.  Diesel fuel storage problems: The first is that it  will absorb moisture from the air. The second and related problem is sludge formation.  the result of bacteria living in the trapped water and eating the sulfur in the fuel. Left untreated, the sludge will grow until it fills the entire tank, ruining the fuel. Stored diesel fuel should be treated with a  diesel Sta-Bil as soon as it is delivered. Unique to #2 is the fact that some paraffin wax is dissolved in the fuel and will settle out at about 20 degrees F, clogging the fuel filter. This "fuel freezing" may be eliminated by adding 10% gasoline or 20% kerosene to the diesel fuel. Commercial diesel fuel supplements are also available to solve the same problem. Diesel should be filtered before use.

 Storing Gasoline   It has the advantage of being a liquid at room temperature. But it is probably the hardest fuel to store for any length of time. It has a high vapor pressure (which means it evaporates quickly) and will go stale in a few weeks if not chemically treated. It does have a fairly high ignition temperature (about 1100 degrees F) even though it does not need a large volume of heat to ignite. Stored gasoline must be treated with a BHT additive like Sta-Bil and protected from moisture if it is to be stored for any length of time. 

I found this information at http://home.aol.com/keninga/lp_kero.htm  they also cover information on transporting fuels, Safe handling, and storage containers. I found a lot of information on solar and wind turbines at this web site www.cetsolar.com   And be sure to get your free Emergency Essential catalog. you can find them online at www.BePrepared.com or call 1-800-999-1863